Self-driving cars are all in the rage now-a-days. Almost every other major tech company is attempting to get them working properly and online educational platforms like Udacity, are attempting to teach aspirants about what goes into making their brains — or the software that makes sure that they can stay on the road without hitting anything. The company is now open sourcing its self-driving car simulator to make it available to everyone.
With this move, the online education platform is allowing literally anyone who can tinker around with Unity, to create their own scenes and tracks and test their own self-driving car software.
The major issue with the adaption of self-driving cars and why more work isn’t being done — is the fact that you need a place to test your car. And considering that the system is still in its infancy, that can prove to be pretty difficult. For one, you need a car with all the hardware installed, and such cars are in short supply. Secondly, finding cities that would actually allow you to test your half-baked car on its roads is not easy. Particularly when you are an independent developer or even a company that is in its initial stages.
Considering all these factors, a significant portion of work often takes place in virtual environments.
Which brings us to how Udacity entered the equation. The platform offers an online self-driving car nanodegree to its students. It is also attempting to build an autonomous car using code that will be written by students working on the car, during the course of their learning. The code will then be made available to everyone through an open source license.
The newly open-sourced self driving car simulator is yet another big step along the same direction. The simulator will allow developers to safely test their code in a virtual environment where they can’t cause any harm. The tool could propel work further while also prompting more onlookers to join on in solving one of the most burning problems that the tech community currently has on its hands.